European Electricity Social Partners join forces on Skills and Qualifications

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Today, the Secretary Generals of the European Social Partners in the Electricity Sector, industriAll Europe, EPSU and Eurelectric signed two landmark documents to reiterate their commitment to the development of skills and qualifications, and pledged to promote apprenticeship in the electricity sector.

The ‘Roadmap on Skills and Qualifications and the ‘Joint pledge to join the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA)’ aim at providing future-proof

solutions to ensure that workers are fully equipped with the skills they need for a fast changing electricity sector. Climate change mitigation, decarbonisation, renewables development, digitalisation, new customer services all form part of the sector’s profound mutation and were discussed in the conference “The electricity sector and future challenges - Ensuring the right qualifications and good working conditions for young workers/trainees”.
 
The Roadmap is one of the main outcomes of a two year joint project on the transition of the electricity sector and needed skills. With the support of SPIN 360 and the European Commission, we defined six priorities to be addressed by the European Social Dialogue Committee in the Electricity Sector in the coming six years:
 
  • Strengthening the role of social partners in the interaction with vocational education and training (VET) systems and skills providers;
  • Maintaining and updating sectoral intelligence on skills needs in order to periodically revise strategies and actions; 
  • Negotiating a Quality Framework for apprenticeships;
  • Defining and implementing a systematic strategy to improve the attractiveness of the sector;
  • Ensuring mobility and transferability of skills in the electricity sector;
  • Anticipating skills needed in the context of the decarbonisation and digitalisation of the electricity sector.

With the signature of their pledge, the Social Partners demonstrate their full engagement by already ticking off one of their commitments under priority 1 of the Roadmap.

“The electricity sector is changing, driven by decarbonisation and digitalisation so we have to ensure that our workforce is well prepared to handle new technologies or new professional tasks”, said Luc Triangle General Secretary of industriAll Europe. “The Roadmap and the EAfA Pledge demonstrate our full commitment to shape a Just Transition for workers in the Electricity Sector and making the sector an attractive workplace for young and old.”
 
“The European Social partners agree that ambitious skills planning and just transition measures are necessary to empower
workers to respond to future challenges” Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU general secretary stated. He continued: “As national and European targets to reduce CO2 emissions get more ambitious to stop global warming, and we experience the rapid introduction of new digital technologies, as social partners we agree to mitigate any negative consequences on workers”.
 
“Every day, technological advancements challenge our business models and determine our continuous adaptation. While seizing on novelty we have to increase the synergies between social partners in order to ensure the development of future-oriented skills and qualifications”, said Kristian Ruby, Secretary General of Eurelectric.
 
About industriAll Europe, EPSU and Eurelectric
 
industriAll European Trade Union is the voice of industrial workers all over Europe. It represents 7 million workers across supply chains in manufacturing, mining and energy sectors on the European level.
 
EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions. It is the largest federation of the ETUC and comprises 8 million public service workers from over 250 trade unions across Europe. EPSU organises workers in the energy, water and waste sectors, health and social services and local, regional and central government, in all European countries including the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood. It is the recognised regional organisation of Public Services International
(PSI).
 
Eurelectric is the sector association representing the common interests of the electricity industry at pan-European level. Eurelectric represents 3500 companies across Europe, covering all major challenges of the sector, from electricity generation and markets, to distribution networks, customers, as well as environment and sustainability issues.